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By Colin Harris | Staff writer
Windham rebounded from consecutive losses with a win on Wednesday night, pulling away in the second half for a 55-44 Portage Trail Conference County Division victory over the visiting Rootstown Rovers on Marty Hill Court.
Windham (2-5, 1-2 PTC County) entered Wednesday's game having dropped back-to-back road losses, falling 48-45 to Waterloo on Saturday before being overwhelmed by Newton Falls, 59-30 on Monday.
Wednesday offered a different ending and handed the Rovers their first County Division loss on the young season.
"I think our girls did a great job overall tonight," Windham head coach Gregg Isler said. "We lost to Waterloo and we didn't go a great job against Newton Falls' pressure, but that happens sometimes when you have the youth we do."
The Bombers got off to a slow start on Wednesday, as Rootstown (4-2, 2-1) jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but a 7-1 run gave Windham a 7-6 lead it would maintain at different lengths throughout the rest of the game's three-and-a-half quarters.
Windham added to its lead during the second quarter with a 16-10 effort. Sophomore Jessica Isler knocked down three of her game-high four 3-pointers during the period, as Windham stretched its lead to 26-19 at the half.
Isler finished with 15 points to lead all scorers, and she was joined in double-digits by teammates Britney Collins (11 points), Morgan Schriener (11) and Dari Heller (10).
Coach Isler said he was impressed with the way his team handled an aggressive Rootstown defense.
"I was happy with the way our girls moved the ball around and made that extra pass to open up a better shot opportunity," Isler said. "Making that extra pass helped us against their pressure and that wasn't what we were able to do on Monday."
Windham kept Rootstown at arm's length in the second half, outscoring Rootstown 29-25 over the final two periods. The Bombers' lead never dipped below seven points and stretched to 17 at its peak as Windham surged to its first league win of the season.
Casey Miracle led the Rovers in scoring, putting in 11 points to go along with her eight rebounds. Alex Cramer also finished in double figures for the Rovers, finishing with 10 points and two 3-pointers.
Despite the loss, Rootstown head coach Jay Airhart was upbeat after the game and said he hoped Wednesday's loss would serve as motivation going forward.
"I feel like we had opportunities where Windham missed free throws or missed a layup, and we just didn't take advantage of it with points," Airhart said. "We played hard and we had chances, but we didn't take advantage.
"But we know that the league is even and a league champion could have a couple of losses," Airhart said. "So a loss tonight to Windham could be good for us in the longterm because this was a good test for us."